WARNING! Step by step Tracey B is going to rip apart your childhood films, books and memories and re-assemble them as a complex jungle of hidden mental health meanings! Not really, but I’m fascinated by certain childhood stories and then seeing where they fit into ‘modern day life’.
One of my most favourite childhood films is the ‘Wonderful Wizard of Oz’. I love the setting, Dorothy’s red shoes, Judy Garland’s voice and most of all the story. The wicked witches’ cries of “I’m melting” is often used by me when I’m exposed to bright sunlight and hot sunshine as being a redhead by birth it truly feels like I’m melting when it’s overly hot :).
For those of you who have never seen this movie here’s a quick ‘run down’ on what it’s all about;
When a tornado rips through Kansas, Dorothy (Judy Garland) and her dog, Toto, are whisked away in their house to the magical land of Oz. They follow the Yellow Brick Road toward the Emerald City to meet the Wizard and en route meet a Scarecrow (Ray Bolger) that needs a brain, a Tin Man (Jack Haley) missing a heart, and a Cowardly Lion (Bert Lahr) who wants courage. The Wizard asks the group to bring him the broom of the Wicked Witch of the West (Margaret Hamilton) to earn his help. He isn’t all he’s cracked himself out to be. They all ‘bond’ over their journey together, revealing their hopes and fears. It’s a very special story indeed!
I won’t spoil the ending for those of you who haven’t seen the movie but what I want to do, for those of you who have, is to analyse the core fundamentals of the movie because it truly is a metaphor for our lives today. All the people in the movie are drawn towards a Wizard. A Wizard they have never met in their lives but they’ve heard great things about him. They believe that once they find him, he’ll work his magic and each of them will leave with what they most desire, i.e. a brain for the Scarecrow (who seems to think he’s not the brightest tool in the worksheet), a heart for the tin man (who seems to think he lacks intelligence), courage for the lion (who thinks he’s a big fluff-ball of trembles), and finally, for Dorothy, well, her needs are less complex, she just wants to get back home (but it’s more complex than that).
If you truly want to intellectualise this, and “Yes, I feel the need to do so”, the characters are so like us and it’s quite remarkable that such an astute film was made such a long time ago in 1939. All the characters are based on people with insecurities and feelings of ‘not being good enough’. Each of them believes that by going to see some kind of ‘guru’ their lives will be transformed and they’ll be given the tools they seek, i.e. the brain, the heart, the courage, when in fact they already possess these ‘tools in heaps. The scarecrow proves himself to be very smart, the tin man has the biggest of hearts and the lion is braver than brave. Why? Because in reality they’ve lived their lives and these lives have been their ‘winning formula’. As for Dorothy she had the power to return home – all she had to do was click her heels. And her aunt was not as bad as she imagined her to be as, in her childhood mind, she had escalated her minor ‘row’ with her aunt to epidemic proportions. They didn’t need to go to a Wizard, their ‘lives’ had been the education they needed. Of course, I am not saying, don’t get an education and don’t go to a specialist – heck if I got carried away, my addiction to Holby City means I could do an operation and check bloods – ha, ha. I think not! But in truth, the skills and the formula for success that you’ve conceived from a very young age is never to be dismissed. As for me, decluttering is something I did as a young girl. Keeping things looking neat, tidy, clean and orderly has helped me in my own life to create beautiful homes and is a brilliant skill to have when dressing a trade show booth or even when I struggled with depression, my ability to keep ‘on top’ of my life with clipboards and lists was my ‘backbone’ in a time of midlife crisis.
As for the Wizard, he was all ‘smoke and mirrors’. A small man who put on a ‘big front’ but in truth he was no more powerful than the people who came to him for his advice and guidance and in fact, his aggressive exterior hid an insecure person just trying to get through life. Just like the scarecrow, the tin man and the lion, bobbling along doing the best they can.
Even I, as I network and ‘put myself out there’, sometimes have to breathe deeply. The number of people who have said to me “Oh yes, but lots of people do what you do” is quite outstanding. Before I would wobble, mentally say to myself “Yes, you’re right, I’m not unique” and scuttle away. Nowadays, however, I hold my head up high, look them in the eye and say “Yes, but I’m me and the way I do things is completely different to how other people might do things”. Remember, everyone is unique and has a different ‘USP’!
Believing in yourself and dispelling your self-limiting beliefs is the way to help yourself move forward. Even if, as a child, you were told you can’t, you’re no longer a child and those long-held beliefs no longer serve you. Standing in your own ‘power’ and believing in yourself, without frantically turning to this person and that person to ‘fix’ you, is the most empowering way to live your life. Of course, I’ve spent most of my life not feeling empowered and have done a lot of ‘self-help’ work over the last four years in order to get where I’m today (and help others better) but I still believe, over and above any Tony Robbins course, Landmark, NLP, CBT, Hypnotherapy and self-help books, that you truly have to have an inner belief that you can become the person you want to be. Only YOU can change YOURSELF and in the case of the Lion, the Tin Man, the Scarecrow and Dorothy, they already had the power within themselves when they stepped onto that Yellow Brick Road. Many people have recently asked me how I lost all the weight I’ve lost over the past three months? Well, I could say “Oh I eat this or I do exercise this way” but to be truthful, the person who changed the way I look is only me! I stepped up to the mirror and onto the scales and thought “I’m not happy and I’m going to do something about it”. No-one put a gun to my head and marched me to the gym, I got up myself, decided I was going to take my own health, both physical and mental, into my own hands.
If you want to have a chat about how I can facilitate your way forward then you know where I am. I carry a small book with me which contains all the names of people who helped me get back on ‘track’ and move forward in my life. I’m very happy to share this information with you including how to ‘help yourself’. There is not one ‘person’ who can fix you, you always need to look within yourself and then start from there.
I’m happy to give you a twenty-minute complimentary phone chat to see what I’m all about and how I can help you move forward.
With love – your ‘deep’ friend (someone called me that the other day and for a second I thought ‘deep’?, then I thought, oh, I like it, better than being called ‘shallow’).
For those of you who know me, I’m no Eeyore, much more Tigger, but I do love to look, learn and grow and to help myself and others move forward.
Tracey B x